It’s a slow start to the day as it’s really the first day where we know we don’t have to get on another plane. The dark rooms of Hotel G have provided a great environment for a good night’s sleep. Thank God. Breakfast is included so we thought we would try it. Simply, a bit disastrous and a little too western for our liking – there is nothing worse than eating bad versions of what we already do wrong!
Holiday Hint – Stick to the fruit.
It was time to get the body back on track so we booked a day session at the Park Hyatt Gym and day spa – hello friend. As overpriced as it was (300RMB per person – approx. $50 AUS), it was well worth it. A good long sweat session was the perfect remedy. Follow this with a swim and a shower and game on. The spa here looked great too, however there was way too much nakedness. Think Turkish bath but in Asia and insert a few Apple products resting on their downstairs regions.
It’s 4pm and the food journey today has been non existent so we head to San Li Tun (shopping district) to explore the world of fast, fresh food. Refresh and Element Fresh are here – they’re ok, great concepts, poor execution and way too many flavoured muffins.
We had a brief stop in Herbal Cafe for a serve of cold Sesame Seed Soup which looked like a bowl of squid ink with a weird shiny shampoo like texture. It was void of all flavour.
I was drawn into the Mango Crepe roll which looked exactly like it did in the booklet and tasted just right. Soft citrus crepes surrounding bright white sugarless pseudo-cream and a perfect brick of fresh mango. Get inside me! It was delicious!
A spot of shopping and back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Unfortunately we ran short of time for Modo wine bar – we will be back.
Dinner is with friends at Duck de Chine. This restaurant is a highly awarded restaurant specialising in all things duck! Its housed in beautiful Ming and Qing Dynasty themed retreat and the man responsible is Paul Hsu. The restaurant is spacious, perfectly lit and I feel as though I have walked into a royal house. High backed teak chairs, large round tables and perfectly laid out table settings.
We are late so there is already some starters on the table – Wood ears (morel mushroom family) with coriander and red onion is a great little crunchy local dish which is tasty. Warm duck spring rolls, pickled bamboo and what appears to be cooked broad beans with flavoursome duxelle – all perfect.
I ordered a bottle of 2009 Josmeyer Fleur de Lys, a wine I’m not familiar with which is a blend of Riesling, Gewurtz, Grigio and 2 others. Its floral and enticing on the nose and has a pleasant subtle sweetness on the palate which allows all the food to speak without interfering.
It’s time for the Duck! The waitress sounds the gong (another duck is dead) and the chef appears at the table to prepare the duck for us. The pancakes are placed on the table along with precision cut vegetables and the best Peking duck pancakes I have ever had were consumed with great joy.
It is only fair to finish the night after an experience like that and go to bed dreaming.